final service in the big tent
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
During the “Sunday School” time in the big tent at El-Shaddai church, several choirs from El-Shaddai and other churches were singing and dancing. I noticed another instrument they were using. It was a megaphone, of sorts. It could be beaten with ticks, but also sang through like a microphone. One of the choirs also brought a large drum, similar to a bongo, in that it was struck with the open hand. Oh, and sometimes they used whistles!
Bryce spoke from John 1:35-51, in French. He had shared his ideas about this text to me earlier, so I could tell where he was going, though I could not understand the actual words he was using at the time. The idea was that Nathaniel was probably meditating on the story of Jacob’s ladder from the book of Genesis. But he had been having his private devotions “under his own fig tree.” But Jesus knew what he had thought when he was alone before the LORD. Jesus told him that he would see heaven opened, and the angels descending and ascending on the Son of Man.
The closing exercises included presentations of gifts to both Bryce and me. The ladies whom Bryce had taught gave a gift (accompanied by song and dance) to him. The elders I had taught gave a gift to me, and some gifts to Penny through me.
More songs ensued, and more dance. Various people were introduced, and appreciated, before they asked me to close in prayer. Then,more songs, more dance. The service lasted five hours and ten minutes. It was not your usual Sunday service. It served as a great send-off for Bryce and me. We would be departing for South Africa the next day, and then back to Atlanta, where Bryce and I would part ways, and I would fly to Richmond.
I found out while in Atlanta (by means of my cellphone which actually worked again) that I would be missing Naomi’s departure from Richmond, because I would arrive after she left. That made me quite sad, but it is somehow appropriate. Father and daughter, travelling around the world, serving the same Lord.
“And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29 NET).